Two days after leaving Kinsale I heard my saddest song. Ireland touched me unexpectedly.
My mother’s roots were solidly Norwegian. Her ancestral traditions dominated my childhood. I never gave a thought to the 25 percent of my makeup that’s Irish.
That is, until the day in 2005 I stepped off the plane in Dublin airport. Then every gene fragment in my body that harkened back to one of my two Celtic great grandfathers demanded attention. I was home.
We were so happy, the three of us, perched on our rock outcropping. The simplest of elements scattered around us added up to our happiness; a few empty bottles of Harp, crumbs from a package of Dubliner cheese, the last few slices from a loaf of fresh cottage bread, a couple of apple cores, blooming yellow gorse and fog.
The thick fog obscured any view of the Irish fishing town of Kinsale below us, or any glimpse of the sea spread out to the south. It enclosed us in our companionship. Just the three of us, we sturdy hikers, had reached this point. No one existed but us: Alan, my husband; Reggie, our long-time friend; and me who still, in 2005, occupied that sweet spot of treasured wife and valued friend.